The City of Madison says it has not received the $1 million the Trash Pandas owe from the 2020 season. The statement comes following the resignation of Trash Pandas president and CEO Ralph Nelson on Wednesday.
According to the contract between the city of Madison and BallCorps, LLC, which is the group that owns the Trash Pandas, the city has to receive a minimum of $1 million per year through venue revenue. That money comes from a split share of money from parking, stadium naming rights and non-baseball events, among other things
Should the venue revenue not meet that $1 million threshold, the contract states that BallCorps is to make up the difference by April 15.
The agreement’s force majeure clause states that neither party should be found liable or responsible or deemed to have breached the agreement due to a number of things potentially impacting the fulfillment or performance of any term of the agreement - -such as action by any government authority, national or regional emergency, or suspension of play by the baseball authorities -- all of which were seen during the pandemic shutdown.
Both the City of Madison and the Rocket City Trash Pandas released statements on the matter Thursday.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley said, “The City of Madison has already received $165,738.12 from BallCorps for the 2020 season and are in the final stages of the required audit as agreed to in the lease agreement. As confirmed from our revenue department, BallCorps is current on their sales tax payments and there are no outstanding delinquencies. Every organization is larger than one person, and our Rocket City Trash Pandas have an incredible staff ready to welcome our community into Toyota Field May 11th ... Let’s 'play ball!’”
The team responded saying, “The Trash Pandas are working closely with the City of Madison and their independent audit team to confirm the amount due to the city, per the lease agreement. We maintain a strong partnership with the City of Madison and will be making our obligated payment, in full, upon completion of the audit.”
Former Trash Pandas President and CEO Ralph Nelson declined to comment Thursday.